The Jakarta Post
Five sea turtles have been found dead in the last two weeks near the Teluk Sepang coal-fired power plant (PLTU) in the city of Bengkulu.
The last dead turtle was found by a farmer who walked across the power plant at 4:15 p.m. on Monday.
Adrianto, a fisherman who usually caught fish in the waters of Teluk Sepang subdistrict, said he and other fishermen had found at least five dead sea turtles in the location within the last two weeks.
“I have seen five stranded turtles around the beach near the PLTU. I’m unaware of the causes behind the protected turtles’ deaths,” Adrianto said as quoted by kompas.com.
Kanopi Bengkulu ecology protection foundation also received five reports on the deaths of sea turtles that had been washed ashore on the coast of Teluk Sepang subdistrict.
Locals reportedly found on Nov. 10 a huge amount of dead fish and two dead turtles within the power plant’s liquid waste disposal site.
Among the dead fish were sardines and blue-tailed mullets.
One of the dead turtles that had black and white stripes was found 100 meters from the PLTU’s waste disposal site, while the other turtle was found around 20 meters from the disposal site. Both were identified as hawksbill sea turtles.
“We found another dead turtle [on Monday] on Teluk Sepang Beach measuring 75 centimeters in diameter and 45 centimeters in width,” Kanopi Bengkulu chairman Ali Akbar said, “We believe the turtle died last night since some of its organs had been peeled off by the sea waves.”
Although the foundation was still examining the cause of death, Ali said the deaths occurred while Teluk Sepang’s PLTU was carrying out performance testing.
“During the period, [the PLTU] had disposed of the water they used to wash the boilers into the sea. When we checked the site, our heads ached and we felt nauseous from smelling the stinky [waste],” Akbar said.
“Judging by the trend and changes, there is a possibility that the turtles’ deaths were caused by the waste disposed by the PLTU,” he added.
The remains of the dead turtles were taken to the Bengkulu Natural Resources Conservation Agency for further examination. PLTU management has yet to issue a statement on the dead turtles. (dpk)